Monday, April 19, 2010

Lace with Galina

At the DFW Fiberfest, I spent 12 hours with Galina Khmeleva learning about Orenburg Lace. It was very intense and my brain was on overload but Galina is a great teacher and she has so much information to impart. She and her husband, George were also vending at the Fiberfest and had beautiful soft fiber and yarn as well as shawls.

Galina and I next to her beautiful shawls

Galina provided the class with instructions as well as bobbins of 50/50 merino/silk yarn for knitting. We knitted strawberries, cat's paws, peas, mouse prints, accordians, and honey combs to practice knitting to gauge. The best thing about Orenburg lace is that everything is a knit - no purls at all!

She also taught us how the Orenburg lace shawls are constructed where there are no seams and everything including the borders are knit together. It was very intense. My gauge is consistent as always so I was knitting with my US 2 knit pick interchangeable needle tips that I got from

Galina also gave a demonstration of spinning and plying on russian spindles and provided tips on preparing lace yarn for knitting. She also showed us how to block our lace pieces and a very cool technique for grafting.

Russian spindling demonstration

Blocking sample

Sample of a two color Orenburg Shawl knitted by Galina's mentor Olga

Galina lives in Colorado and I asked if I could visit her studio if I was ever in town. She stated that she would love to show her studio if I provided some advanced notice. When I'm on my trip with Val to see her family, we are going to see if we can visit Galina's studio if she is not too busy on her travel and teaching schedule.

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